When Kiki was born, one of the "Big Discussions" Alan and I had was "Do we try to make her believe in Santa?". This has seemed to be a bigger issue than I would have ever imagined. It’s just Santa, for cryin’-out-loud. I mean, I believed when I was little, and I’m not warped. Uhm, well, okay, yeah I am warped, but it wasn’t because of Santa. I really wrestled with this… because, I didn’t want her to miss out on the mystery and magic that is a belief in Santa, but I also didn’t want to spend 5 or more years convincing her, only to tell her later… "Just kidding. It’s a lie; I made it all up." Someone once said they didn’t want their kids to then believe Jesus was all just make-believe as well. Which to me, seemed a bit overboard, I mean, I didn’t get confused over that issue…but, well, hmmm. I also heard about a lot of people who were simply devastated as a child when they found out the "truth" about Santa. It really rocked their little kid worlds. That seemed a little sad. When I was a kid, I don’t really remember my parents making a big deal about Santa, but we did leave out milk and cookies for him, and my mom always had at least one gift with a "from Santa" tag on it, and she always bought special "Santa" designed Christmas wrapping paper that only those gifts were wrapped in. When did I learn the truth? I don’t know. I think it was a gradual realization… like, if that great home-made easel came from Santa, what in the heck was dad doing out there in his workshop all month long while he wouldn’t let us in?? How come Santa’s handwriting looks just like mom’s? I don’t remember being upset… we just kept playing along, thinking it was fun to be a part of the secret. Then the year came my sister and I decided that Santa should fill stockings for mom and dad, not just us…so we made the cheesiest stockings ever… which my parents use to this day…!! Well, we finally opted out for the truth. We told Kiki all about the legends of Santa, St.Nick, different ones around the world – we took her to see Santa if she wanted to (at first she did not want to; she has never been thrilled with people in costumes). We’ve pretended about him, and left out milk and cookies, but she has always been "in the know" so to speak. Sometimes, I felt bad, like maybe I’ve cheated her out of something, but you know what? The magic, the wonder, it’s been there anyway. In her mind, she still believes it somewhat, I know she does. She has sat on ‘Santa laps’ that she thought looked totally fake; she has sat on laps of some she was pretty convinced "could really be the real Santa, mom"… and I’d just smile and say "maybe", and she’d play along… A couple years ago, she asked me if I’d start putting out a present "from Santa", and so I do. Well, the sweetest thing ever happened today. When I brought in the mail, I saw a letter for Kiki with my Mother-in-law’s printing on the front. I almost blew it by hollering "Kiki, grammy sent you a letter" when I noticed that it was a "letter from Santa". The postmark is from "Santa Claus Indiana" (which is very funny). I gave it to Kiki, and she asked "who’s it from" and I said "well, I think it’s from Santa". As she looked at the envelope, then read the letter, her eyes just grew bigger and bigger! She kept repeating "holey cow, holey cow!! Is this really from Santa?!" Well, it’s not from me, I told her. "Who did this? Did you and daddy?" No, babe, it wasn’t us… "holey cow…Holey COW!! Maybe…maybe there is a Santa!" It was so fun to be able to honestly tell her that "for reals" it wasn’t dad, or me, and no one at all had told me anything about it…! She read it over and over. She did say at one point "hey, doesn’t this look like grammy’s handwriting? But, no, it couldn’t be, because then it would have her return address on it, and it doesn’t…" Oh my gosh, it was just so sweet! She actually put the letter in a picture frame, (that had held a pic of her dad and I!) and set it up on her nightstand. I can’t wait to tell my m-i-l what an impact the letter had on Kiki!! She will be thrilled, I know. I wonder, what sort of monster have we let out of the bag with this, eh? Nah, I know she has the truth, but she also has the thrill, the wonder, the joy…. the magic of Christmas. Who could ask for more than that?